Prior to reading the selection, find out how many
students from the class have been to Florida. Ask questions that
tap into students’ background knowledge. Include questions
that elicit students’ knowledge about Florida’s landforms,
waterways, landmarks, tourist attractions, wildlife, resources/industry,
and climate. Help students locate Orange City, Florida (28.94N,
-81.338W) on a map. Introduce the selection by reading aloud the
title and first paragraph. (Activating Background Knowledge Prior
Invite students to use their knowledge of Florida to respond to
the following questions: "Why would manatees want habitats
in/near Florida?" "What waterways would attract manatees?
Why?" "What weather conditions create optimal environments
for manatees?" (Asking Questions and Making Predictions to
Set a Purpose for Reading)
Post the following words on the board or chart paper: spring, run,
boil, park, state, degrees, staple, outlet, current, and base. Ask
students to predict how these words will be used in the text. Write
prediction statements on chart paper. (Making Predictions Based
on Prior Knowledge; Building Vocabulary)
Have students scan the text for boldface headlines: "Settlements
At Blue Spring," "Deep Passage," and "Saved
for Manatees and People." Ask students to add prediction statements
to the chart based on the headlines. (Using Text Features to Make
Have students read "Blue Spring State Park." Encourage
them to "mark up the text" by circling unfamiliar words,
underlining key ideas, and making notes in the margins. Invite students
to share how "marking up the text" helped them read and
remember information in the selection.
Sleper, B. and Foott, J. In the Company of Manatees: A Tribute.
Three Rivers Press.
Jeff Foott is a photographer for National Geographic. This book
includes his beautiful photographs of manatees in Florida.
Lund, Bill. The Manatees of Florida. Franklin Watts, 1997. Reading
Level: Ages 4-8
Revisit the selection to highlight words with multiple meanings:
spring, run, boil, park, state, degrees, staple, outlet, current,
and base. Use a dictionary/thesaurus to collect definitions for
each word. Ask questions to explore the multiple meanings found
for each word.
Sample questions: "How many definitions are listed in the dictionary
for the word, spring?" "How can the word ‘spring’
be used as a verb?" "How can it be used as a noun?"
"How is the word ‘spring’ used in this selection?"
"How is the word 'staple' used in this article?" Reread
the sentences from the article that contain the multiple meaning
words. Invite students to use context clues from the article to
match each word with its appropriate definition. Have students work
in small groups to create Word Webs for the multiple meaning words.
On each web, students should include definitions, pronunciation,
synonyms, antonyms, sketched illustrations, and context sentences
that give examples for how the word can be used in different ways.
To help students collect main ideas and details from the selection,
use the Carousel technique. Divide the class into six small groups.
Post six large sheets of chart paper around the room.
Label each sheet:
1. Blue Spring State Park,
2. Blue Spring Run,
3. Settlements at Blue Spring,
4. Deep Passage,
5. Saved for Manatees and People, and
6. Further Research Questions.
Phase One: Have each group reread the selection. They may take notes
to prepare for writing key ideas and details on the Carousel Charts.
Phase Two: Each group visits each chart for 3-5 minutes. As they
"go around" from chart to chart, students recall and write
details from the text. Phase Three: Invite students to use the Carousel
Charts to summarize information revealed in the text. (Summarizing
Main Ideas and Details)
1. Blue Spring pushes out over 104 million gallons of water every
day into the Run. Discuss what you think could be the “unknown
source” of Blue Spring. Where is all this water coming from?
And why is the water at a constant 72 degrees? (Drawing Conclusions)
What landforms and waterways in your community
provide ideal habitats for wildlife? What wildlife parks, refuges,
and sanctuaries are in your state or province? What do you know
about the history of your community wildlife preserves? What features
would attract wildlife? What features would attract tourists?
(Making Text-to-the-World Connections)
Revisit the selection to explore words and phrases used to describe
"time" factors: each winter, for hundreds of years, over
the centuries, three years after…, On January 4, 1776...,
By the mid-1800’s..., In 1872, ...each day..., years ago,
...restricted now. Invite students to categorize each phrase in
a two-column chart: General and Specific. "Which words and
phrases give a reader specific details? Which words and phrases
give general information?" Invite students to analyze and evaluate
the effectiveness of each "time phrase." "Which phrases
provided sufficient information?" "Which phrases may require
further research?" "What was the author’s purpose;
why do you think the author chose a general phrase to describe this